Mark Jackson Must Make These 6 Scheme Changes for Retooled Warriors
With everyone healthy and the recent signings of Brandon Rush and Carl Landry, the Warriors have all the pieces necessary to make it to the NBA playoffs.
Now it's up to Jackson to get them there.
While the Warriors will look more defensive than we've ever seen them, here are six steps Jackson needs to take to get the Warriors to the postseason.
1. Lead the League in Three-Point Attempts
This year Jackson should make sure that they finish first in attempts.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Brandon Rush are all premier shooters and the Warriors should be trying to give them as many looks as they can from beyond the arc for that very reason.
With more attempts, their shooting percentage will likely go down, but that can turn that into a positive.
Missed threes cause long rebounds. Now that the Warriors have David Lee and Andrew Bogut down low to collect those long rebounds, the Warriors' shooters should let the threes fly.
2. Make Klay Thompson a Playmaker
Thompson needs to take on a bigger role offensively this season, and getting the ball in his hands early is a way to do that.
He showed the ability to run an offense with his play last season and with Curry's ability to play off the ball, the Warriors offense should run through Thompson for parts of every game.
Jackson should be putting the ball in Klay's hands more this season, and establishing Thompson as a playmaker early will be beneficial if and when Curry's ankles decide to fail him yet again.
3. Learn to Play with a Lead
We have all been here.
We watch the Warriors build a big lead early and by halftime they are up by 15 points. You change the channel, come back, and they are down by five.
Happens all the time.
Jackson need to show the Warriors how to hold a lead and continue to put pressure on opponents from start to finish. This would be a big change from any other Warriors team and is essential if the playoffs are going to be a reality.
4. Playing Pick and Roll
The pick and roll offense is elementary and with Curry and Lee, Jackson should make it the primary offensive scheme for the Warriors.
Both are excellent at the pick and roll because it sets up perfectly with their skill set.
Both are able to shoot, take it to the rim, or hit the open man out of it. While Curry and Lee run the pick and roll, they have two outstanding outlets in Thompson and Barnes as they isolate Bogut in the middle.
Expect to see plenty of Lee and Curry working together this season.
5. Force Teams into the Middle
The Warriors' defensive game plan should be to contest the outside shooters while they force opponents into the middle to deal with Bogut.
Jackson should make his defense look a lot like the Dallas Mavericks in their NBA Championship-winning season.
The Mavericks were excellent at hiding their defensive efficiencies that season. Jason Kidd, J.J Barea and Jason Terry weren't exactly playing for All-NBA defensive teams, but they made it work by forcing their opponents into the middle to deal with Tyson Chandler.
They mixed in zone defense to ease defensive pressure off Dirk Nowitzki, exactly what they could do for Lee.
The Warriors defensive scheme next season should be a carbon copy of the defense that Rick Carlisle had the Mavericks playing in the 2011 playoffs. If it brought the Mavs a championship, it should be able to at least get the Warriors into the playoffs, right?
6. Constantly Change Looks
The Warriors advantage this season is that they have a deep bench.
Now they have the players to create lineups that will allow them to play different styles of basketball.
They can go big and defensive with Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli, Bogut, Jarret Jack and Rush, or go small and run with Thompson, Curry, Barnes, Landry, and Lee.
The combinations are endless, and it will allow them to play various styles for whatever the situation calls for.
Jackson needs to recognize the best style to attack their opponent and input the correct lineup that puts the Warriors in position to win.
After all, that's why they hired him.